NEWARK, N.J. — And now the Boston Bruins will continue to further test the “David vs. Goliath” theory of life.
Already struggling at times to hold off some of their larger opponents, the Bruins were forced by injuries to recall 5-foot-11 193-pound Vladimir Sobotka and 5-10, 198-pound Martins Karsums to plug into the line-up tonight against the New Jersey Devils here at Prudential Center.
Well, that’s hardly going to help them against the gargantuan Devils, who have already given the Bruins fits with their size and strength in two earlier meetings this season. Obviously, the Bruins aren’t all lilliputian. Defenseman Zdeno Chara and winger Milan Lucic can hold their own, and Blake Wheeler and Byron Bitz provide some length. But the Devils have an element of size on all four lines. So Boston will have to use more savvy, guile and quickness to prevail in this battle of the top two teams in the Eastern Conference.
It would behoove Phil Kessel and Patrice Bergeron, two key Bruins mired in lengthy scoring slumps, to sling shot their way through the Devils’ defense and get their offensive motors cranking.
Season series: The Bruins and Devils have split a pair of games, with Boston winning at Jersey, 2-0, with an empty-netter, and the Devils winning in overtime at TD Banknorth Garden. To say this season series has been a pick ’em would be an understatement.
New Jersey player to watch: He might be one of the most underrated players in the NHL right now. Heck, he’s 33 and might never have been rated properly throughout his Stanley Cup-winning career. But Jamie Langenbrunner is just a menace in all three zones, as the Bruins found out a couple weeks ago when the veteran winger potted the overtime game-winner. The NHL’s First Star for the month of January, Langenbrunner hasn’t tailed off in February, as he’s put up 3-3-6 totals in six games.